For many, the difference between these two words is pure semantics. For others they are a world apart.  What, for you, is the difference if there is any at all?

As a follow-up to last week’s letter on Claiming our Divinity and our Health, I see the difference as one that can support inner-peace or create an environment for disease to develop. 

In reading Simon Sinek’s, Start with Why, and so many other of his books, there is a solid message about the importance of purpose, of knowing and understanding your WHY. 

Setting a goal and achieving it, whether to get the house cleaned, to finish your To Do list, to purchase that car or that house, whatever your current desired achievement is, can feel so powerful, so sweet.  “I did it!” What a fantastic feeling, regardless of what that desired achievement is.

To accomplish it, calls you to feel powerful, accomplished, capable of achieving whatever you set out to do. 


The more you set and meet goals the more confident you become that you can achieve the next one. It’s a great lesson in self-confidence to teach our children. Achievement builds a sense of self confidence, a sense of the impossible becoming possible. It provides a joy that makes us smile broadly. We all deserve that. I wish that for every one of us. Start small and work your way up. It’s like developing muscles you never knew you had and muscles you come to love. 

Success, however, is a whole other world. That feeling of achievement can fade within minutes, hours, or days after you achieve your goal, based on how great or seemingly difficult it was to achieve.  Success, however, is a process not an event. It is a state of being, a mind-set. 

Success shows up when you know you are doing what you came here to do. It is reflected in living your purpose. Success comes in living your values. It comes in reflecting your Divinity to the world. Haven’t you noticed or read about those with multi-million or even billion-dollar business owners who are miserable? They are unhappy beyond words or even suicidal and self-destructive? Their achievements didn’t provide the success, the sense of purpose and well-being they had hoped for. They didn’t feel at peace. They didn’t feel they accomplished the true success they had wanted in spite of all their achievements. The price they may have paid was too high. For some, it cost them themselves, their values, and their inner-peace – their health. 

Success is living the best of who you are while doing the best that you are here to do.


At different stages of your life, it can go from being part of a major corporation which is making the world a better place, to simply calling a neighbor to make sure they are safe after a major storm. Success, again, is living your values while making you and the world a better place to be.

That is something every one of us is capable of, pandemic or no pandemic, wealth or limited resources. We can always have our best selves and the values we have developed over the journey; consequently, we can always have success, a state of being that says I am living my purpose…. 


About Dorothy

Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.